Lawmakers Considering Changes to Forfeiture Laws

co-state-capitol-300Colorado may join other states in preventing law enforcement agencies from taking someone’s property through the asset forfeiture process. A bill that had its first vote yesterday would allow asset forfeiture to take place only after a criminal conviction. Many states have imposed stricter standards before police are allowed to seize assets without a conviction. Critics complain that law enforcement sometimes uses the maneuver to take property and money from people who aren’t charged with crimes, forcing them to a lengthy legal process to get their assets back. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced sweeping changes last month to the federal civil asset forfeiture program. A fiscal analysis prepared for Colorado lawmakers says that state forfeitures are “infrequent.”

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